Pythagoras of Samos
Pythagoras of Samos is described as the first pure mathematician and is extremely important because of who he was, he was born in Samos, Ionia 569 BC and died in 475 BC .
We have nothing of Pythagoras’ writings. Pythagoras’s father was Mnesarchus and his mother was Pythais. As a child Pythagoras spent his early years in Samos but travelled wide with his father. There are accounts of Mnesarchus returning to tyre with Pythagoras and that he was taught there by the Chaldaeans and the learned men of Syria. It seems that he also visited Italy with his father.
Little is known of Pythagoras’ childhood. Certainly he was well educated, learning to play the Lyre, learning poetry and to recite Homer. There were, among his teachers, three Philosophers who were to influence Pythagoras while he was a young man. One of the most important was Pherekydes who many describe as the teacher of Pythagoras.
Thales and Anaximander were the other two philosophers who introduced Pythagoras to mathematics, astronomy, geometry and cosmology. Anaximander was extremely interested in the latter and many of his ideas influenced Pythagoras’ views.
Approxiamtely 535BC Pythagoras went to Egypt via letter of introduction from his father. This was around the time that Polycrates seized control of the city of Samos, he had alliance with Egypt. It seems Polycrates and Pythagoras were initially friends and during his time in Egypt Pythagoras visited many of the temples and took part in many discussions with the priests.
Pythagoras learnt geometry from the Egyptians but it is likely that he was already acquainted with the subject because of his teachings from Thales and Anaximander.
In 525 BC Cambyses II , the king of Persia , invaded Egypt. Pythagoras was taken prisoner and taken to Babylon . Approximately 5 years later he left Babylon and returned to Samos he had gained his freedom akthough it is not known how. Pythagoras made a journey...
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